Queen's Innovation Centre

Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre
Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre

QyourVenture 

QyourVenture is a program that helps students and community members turn their idea, technology, or inspiration into a venture. QyourVenture guides participants' entrepreneurial journey in a tiered program that unlocks opportunities and resources as you and your team demonstrate your commitment and make progress in building your venture. Participation in QyourVenture is free and no equity is taken in your business in exchange for participation.

DDQIC accepts companies into QyourVenture on a rolling basis- you can join any time. The program welcomes community members, students from any faculty, and ventures in any sector, including not-for-profits!

  1. How does the program work?
  2. Seed funding eligibility
  3. How do I apply?
  4. Other perks of joining the QyourVenture community

How does the program work?

There are three phases in the QyourVenture journey. As you demonstrate your commitment and make progress on your venture, you advance to the next phase. Each phase unlocks more resources and opportunities for your venture. The QyourVenture training content is primarily located in two places:

  1. The QyourVenture online training portal in OnQ contains 30+ hours of content on the fundamentals of launching your venture featuring instructors and speakers from the DDQIC network and alumni community.
     
  2. The Disciplined Entrepreneurship toolbox, an online tool based on Bill Aulet’s book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship 24 Steps to a Successful Startup. This interactive tool will help guide your venture’s progress.

The QyourVeture journey with three phases: Explore, Ignite and Launch. Alll of the details are provided in subsequent text.

EXPLORE PHASE: WHERE TO START

In the Explore phase of the program you will access a curated list of key lessons to guide you as you explore entrepreneurship. You can work through the modules in order, or target the content with which you are unfamiliar. Once you complete Module 1 and 2, you can request access to the Disciplined Entrepreneurship toolbox by notifying a member of the DDQIC team. In the Explore phase, you will work through the first 11 steps of Disciplined Entrepreneurship.

In the Explore phase, the resources you have access to include:

  • QyourVenture Online training portal in OnQ - Modules 1-8
  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship toolbox (unlocked at Module 3)
  • Bookable co-working space in the Rose Innovation Hub (COVID-19 restrictions permitting)
  • Coaching from DDQIC team (by request)
  • Attend live workshops and speakers (scheduled ad-hoc)
  • Attend bi-weekly 321's pitches

EXPLORE PHASE MILESTONES

In order to advance to the next phase, you must complete the following milestones:

  1. Answer the guiding questions: Who is my customer? What can I do for them?
  2. Complete the milestones:
    • Make observations through interviews or some other means
    • Clearly define and validate the problem you are solving by speaking to end users
    • Validate or invalidate key assumptions which are the basis of creating the solution you want to work on
    • Ideate – generate solutions to the problem you are solving
    • Create a journey map of your end users’ experience using your solution
  3. Complete steps 1-11 in the Disciplined Entrepreneurship Toolbox platform.
  4. Complete the online modules in the QyourVenture Online training portal, attend bi-weekly 321 pitches, and attend live speakers and workshops.
  5. Present your progress in a stage gate meeting with the DDQIC team when you are ready to advance to the next phase.

IGNITE PHASE: WHERE TO START

In the Ignite Phase, there are a number of curated lessons that will help you as you advance your venture. At your own pace, you will also be responsible for completing steps 12-19 (excluding step 14) of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship Toolbox.

In the Ignite Phase, the resources you have access to include:

  • Modules 9-13 in the QyourVenture Online training portal
  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship Toolbox
  • Eligible for a $250 seed funding grant
  • Dedicated mentorship from DDQIC's Global Network of mentors
  • Priority access to co-working space in the Rose Innovation Hub (COVID-19 restrictions permitting)
  • Eligible to apply to the Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative and Regional Pitch Competitions
  • Coaching from the DDQIC team (by request)
  • Attend workshops and speakers (scheduled ad-hoc)
  • Attend bi-weekly 321's pitching events

IGNITE PHASE MILESTONES

  1. Answer the guiding questions: How does your end user acquire your solution? How will this be funded or become financially sustainable?
  2. Complete the milestones:
    • Develop channels to market and reach out to any necessary partners
    • Create a business model or a plan for funding your solution
    • Prototype your solution in the simplest way possible that still allows you to generate meaningful feedback from end users
    • Validate all critical assumptions by creating experiments and test your solution using your prototype
  3. Present your progress to the DDQIC team in a stage gate meeting when you're ready to advance to the next phase.

LAUNCH PHASE: WHERE TO START

In the Launch Phase, there are a number of curated lessons that will help you as you get ready to launch your venture. At your own pace, you will also be responsible for completing steps 14 and 20-24 of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship Toolbox.

In the Launch Phase, the resources you have access to include:

  • Modules 14 and beyond
  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship Toolbox
  • Eligible for a $500 seed funding grant
  • Dedicated mentorship from DDQIC's Global Network of mentors
  • Priority access to co-working space in the Rose Innovation Hub (COVID-19 restrictions permitting)
  • Coaching from the DDQIC team (by request)
  • Attend workshops and speakers (scheduled ad-hoc)
  • Attend bi-weekly 321's pitching events

LAUNCH PHASE MILESTONES

  1. Answer the guiding questions: How do you execute your solution? How can you scale it?
  2. Complete the milestones:
    • Pilot your solution in a more real life scenario
    • Generate expressions of interest, end users, or customers
    • Create a plan to scale
  3. Meet with the DDQIC team to discuss follow-on opportunities for your venture which could include sector-specific incubators and accelerators, fundraising or granting opportunities, Launch Lab, and more!

Seed Funding Eligibility

The seed funding grants in QYourVenture are intended to help cover initial startup costs that would normally come out of founders' pockets. These startup costs will vary venture to venture, but some examples could include rapid prototyping and testing costs, e-mail and web hosting services, the business registration fee, etc. During the adjudication process for all of DDQIC's seed funding awards, the panel takes into consideration any prior revenues and funding achieved. If your venture has received significant funding to date that well exceeds the amount of the grant you are applying for, you may be deemed ineligible.

Before pitching to advance, please read a copy of our Seed Funding Agreement attached in the QyourVenture online training portal. If your pitch is successful, your team will need to sign off on the Seed Funding Agreement to access your seed funding. The agreement outlines how funds are disbursed (on a reimbursement basis) and what are considered eligible expenses. The use of seed funding is also discussed at length in Module 12 of the Ignite Phase.

Apply to QyourVenture

You can apply for the QyourVenture program at any time. If you are interested in joining QyourVenture, please:

  1. Complete the Pre-Work:
  2. Submit the pre-work to us, and email us with the following:
    • Complete the following statement: I will offer/produce [what] that will [address what problem or improve some condition] for [who would want to buy or use this product service].
  3. Attend a group on-boarding meeting:
    • Let's start building that community! A group on-boarding meeting will be scheduled with yourself and others interested in the QyourVenture program.
    • On-boarding meetings are tentatively scheduled for the following dates:
      • Thursday, April 15th from 10-11AM
      • Thursday, April 29th from 10-11AM
  4. Complete intake form using the link provided to you by a DDQIC team member.
  5. We will then admit you to the Explore phase of QyourVenture and you are off to the races!

Questions? Email innovation.centre@queensu.ca

Other Perks of Joining the QyourVenture Community

  • QyourVenture prepares you well to pitch for seed funding for your venture in the DDQIC Regional Pitch Competition series.
  • Join our online Slack community to learn about events, pitch competitions, and connect with potential co-founders.
  • Attend guest speaking events featuring Alumni and community entrepreneurs.
  • Become part of the broader innovation and entrepreneurship community at our Ignition Café each month when in person programming resumes.
  • Share your progress and challenges at bi-weekly mini-pitch events with fellow QyourVenture participants and receive feedback from DDQIC’s Innovation Fellows.
  • Access incubation space in the Rose Innovation Hub for you and your team.
  • DDQIC is a Google Cloud for Startups Partner, allowing eligible ventures to access up to $3,000 in credits.
  • DDQIC has partnered with Ownr to offer a 20% discount on all products and services. Ownr makes it easy to start, manage, and grow your venture with information on how to register, incorporate, create legal agreements, manage the equity structure of your business, and more.
  • Become a member of the SparQ Studios makerspace to build early stage prototypes, access photography equipment, and learn about a wide variety of equipment, from sewing to laser engraving!
  • Become a Rose Innovation Hub trusted citizen, allowing you 24 hour access to the co-working s pace in exchange for space stewardship duties when in person programming resumes.